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Archive for the ‘Goat Care (and General Farm)’ Category

sarah www..anniesgoathill.com

I am making huge progress with the goat book that I am writing. I am nearing the stage of clean-up before sending to an editing team. This book covers many aspects of goat ownership, including, but not limited to, things to consider when purchasing goats, health and wellness care, milking, many of my own personal experiences and stories.

What topics would you like to see included in a goat book? Think about the articles and books that you have read, what have you not seen that you would like, or need, to learn about?

Please leave your comments here, or email me at anniesgoathill@gmail.com.

Thank you!

Mary

 

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A week ago I started something I consider monumental in my life.

My husband and I were away from home. Out of the blue the urge to start a new book came to me.

We were in a remote location when the writing notion hit. We were nowhere near a store, and basically stranded for a  few hours. We started gathering paper from anywhere and everywhere – a 2″x4″ tablet, the back side of junk mail, envelopes, and even cardboard boxes. The words flowed…they gushed out as if they had been dammed behind a concrete wall for years.

I suddenly realized the book that my husband suggested that I write four years ago had just been started.

Today, I transferred my hand-written notes to a Word document and officially started the Annie’s All About Goats (to be re-named) book file. I now have a preface and two chapters, and more hand-written notes to begin another chapter.

The purpose of the book will serve as a basic guide. As the writing progresses I’ll update you here, and will likely be asking for your favorite goat supply locations, and other information you may want to see in the book, including goat care tips. I may even hi-lite a few goat farms for those of you that want exposure.

I am excited! I hope you are too.

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Week Old

Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakend. – Anatole France

Can you imagine life without animals to love and care for?

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The youth fiction book that I am writing is coming together nicely.

I am falling in love with the main characters, Delilah and Jasper, two young Nubian goats.

I never dreamed I would write fiction, much less a book intended for children. Before I started the book I found myself thinking about all of the goats that we have raised, all of the kids, and how I have loved farm animals from a very young age, as as far back as I can remember. At that point it became clear to me that I needed to tell my story.

The book is fiction, but it contains a lot of learning tips that children can pick up on, scenes from my own experiences, and it contains fun chapters where a child can wander  through the thoughts and antics of a very young goat.

With only a small story or two that I am still pondering on adding, I’ve begun editing the book.

I will soon announce a deadline. I am excited to place this adventure in the delighted hands of a child. I can see myself as a youth wearing the pages of the book out. My dream is to give that gift to another.

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wild rose hips

Wild Rose Hips

While admiring the berries and fruits I found along the wooded paths during my most recent walk, I also noticed wild rose hips. We are abundant in wild roses in our area. Overlooking the fact that the long stemmed bushes are full of small thorns, which stick to a person’s clothes and legs – ouch, I enjoy their beauty and scent throughout the warmer seasons. I had nearly forgotten the amazing health benefits of  rose hips.

Benefits and uses:

  • high in vitamin C – more than the citrus groups
  • rich in bioflavanoids, pectin, Vitamin E, selenium, manganese, and the B-complex vitamins, trace amounts of magnesium, potassium, sulfur and silicon
  • use in jelly, syrup, wine or tea

Rose hips ripen after the first frost – hence their bright color this season (we’ve had several frosts).

I am gathering the beauties for rose hip tea, and to add to herbal teas that I already have in the pantry. The health benefits are outstanding.

Nature is to be treasured!

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In the half-light, I looked out the window and saw large pieces of white paper strewn about across the back lot. There is no trash here, not a speck. How did that happen?

Last night, as made one last round  through the house, I thought the crickets were chirping louder than normal. Was there a window open? I checked the window seals. No, they were shut.

This morning, as I let the scampering eager dogs out the door, I saw a large green grasshopper (those giant “bugs” that used to scare me as a child) sitting happily next to the mop I laid out yesterday to dry. Good morning, Mr. Grasshopper. Welcome to the beautiful morning that we share!

Then, as the sun continued to rise, I saw what caused the strewing about of paper. Beautiful spider webs, strung from blade to blade, covered with morning dew. Nature made its own form of art…no paper involved.

It truly is a blessing to see the little things.

Mary

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goat milk www.anniesgoathill.com

When the most recent kids were born at Annie’s Goat Hill, I decided to let them camp out in the milk stand area.  Unlike our old barn, which had a separate milk/feed room with a sliding door, I now milk in a penned section of the barn.  A small panel gate separates the milk/feed area from the rest of the barn.

The paneled gate works.  The kids run in and out of the gate smoothly.  They eat their hay and grain without battling the larger goats outside, but then, much to my dislike, so does Caleb, the guard dog.   He devoured the grain intended for my milkers, all of it.  And thank you very much, he got pretty sick from it.

So, I ended up tying a piece of fencing to the gate, leaving enough room for the kids to squeeze through, but not enough room for Caleb.  The power of a farmer – baling twine, and extra pieces of fencing.  We learn to not throw anything out that can later be used to patch something up.

Newborn goat kids eventually discover that the swish-swish sound coming from the milk stand means there is warm milk.  As they become mobile (which doesn’t take long), they end up jumping on the stand, nudging the udder as I milk.  It can be rather disastrous.  So, I eventually rigged up a goat panel in the corner of the milk/feed area to put the kinds in (with hay and grain) until milking is done.  Wa-la, problem resolved.

New kittens have been born and momma cat is begging for warm milk.  She bats at me as I walk past the milk stand.  Her big green eyes seemingly stare into my soul, “You will give me milk!” The batting from momma cat recently started including claws.  Ouch! So, now, because I cannot contain a cat inside of a goat panel, I am forced into a new work-around to keep myself from injury-by-cat.  The routine involves stopping and staring her down before I proceed to the milk stand.  With deliberation, I say the words, “You will not swipe me with those needles.  You will be patient!” So far, so good.  She doesn’t look happy.  But she is registering my words, and I am no longer suffering from cat scratches.  She still gets her portion of warm milk.

Another part of the daily routine is to carry kittens to their feed dish.  Apparently, they want to eat kibble with the big-wigs, but I want to make sure they eat well, at the “kitten feeding station.”  You should see my arms lined with kittens as “we” walk to the aluminum feed pan.  Which, by the way, is now being demolished after I leave the area, by none-other than young goats.  I can just see them now, behind the closed barn door, passing the pan from kid to kid, “This is a fun and noisy object!”

Well, I am out of here for now.  Heading back down to the barn because…I forgot to untie and release the kids from their paneled corner! All of this love just to make a bar of soap.  It is worth every moment.  Trust me.

 

Annie’s Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps – Where you can Smell and Feel the Goodness!

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